Day 5 — Hunger For IT

Today was a busy interview day. We met with eight heads of department. One theme common to all of the conversations was frustration with the lack of networking and computers throughout campus. The teachers have plenty of ideas that they would like to implement — writing music with notation software, laying out drama programs with publishing software, molecular visualization, email with students, laboratory data probes, GIS mapping, and paint programs. However, they lack the basic necessities to make this happens, most notable a sufficient number of computers and network access throughout campus.

Unfortunately, the thirst for new tools is not easily quenched. The school recently upgraded from dial-up to ADSL, yet teachers still complain about the slow speed. Hopefully, the next steps will provide more relief. Phil and co. will upgrade the main computer lab over the next few weeks and redistribute the old computers to department offices and a few classrooms. When the next term starts, the different should be noticeable.

I like Website Baker more and more every day. I started to peek under the hood, and I like what I see. Though the first level of editing tools are extremely simple to use, the advanced features are extremely powerful. I learned how to assign pages to different templates (e.g., for a unique home page) and divide a page into sections with different content. The home page now has a space for static content and for news. Principal Andy and his assistant Lynda are prepared to start editing content themselves. I am sufficiently impressed that I think I will try the software for the upcoming new UHS web site, too.

On an unrelated note, I was incredulous to find that the PowerMacs that I purchased in 1995 are still in use! Naturally, the staff despite the ancient machines but have little choice but to use them. I think these were the first Macs to use the PowerPC processor.

It’s been on this cart since 1994!

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